The Rio Olympics is drawing near and there seems to be things that make it more anticipated than a typical world sporting event. Now, the World Anti-Doping Agency wants Russian athletes out of the Olympics.Things just seem to go wrong right off the bat–Rio de Janeiro?s state of financial emergency, the death of a jaguar used as a mascot and now this. This banning of Russian athletes though seems to come from the right place.
In the spirit of fairness and sportsmanship, it is questionable to allow athletes, representing their country, to compete if they are found to have been using performance enhancing drugs. In Russia?s case, the World Anti-Doping Agency found that it is not just a single athlete nor a single event wherein the athletes cheat. They found that Russian officials have a systematic cover-up of a hundred positive doping incidents during both the Summer and the Winter Olympics.
The World Anti-Doping Agency found that elite Russian athletes got away with doping in at least 30 sporting events that include swimming, cycling and skating. Cheating though, as pointed out by The Washington Post, has been found to occur more in track and field and weightlifting events. The report found that the doping and cover-up was very deliberate. You can find the full report here. There were three key findings:
- The Moscow Laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a State-dictated failsafe system, described in the report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology.
- The Sochi Laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games.
- The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athlete?s analytical results or sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the FSB, CSP and both Moscow and Sochi Laboratories.
Because of these, many institutions involved in the Olympics now call for the banning of Russian athletes in the Rio Olympics. The German Olympic Body, according to ABC, called for this ban. This World Anti-Doping Agency report also led the United States and Canadian anti-doping agencies to call for the same potential ban as well.